I spent over 40 years as an executive in the Consumer Industry, starting with Panasonic. I was the Executive Vice President for Packard Bell and was one of the pioneers in the Retail Computer business. I also served as SVP for Emerson Computer Corp. In 1991 I started my own consulting and Manufacturers Rep firm, Conquest Marketing Group and later Suncoast Marketing.
For almost 60 years I’ve been playing golf. Grew up caddying at Bethpage State Park on Long Island, NY and still can tell you about every hole on the famous Black Course. Of course, the trees weren’t as tall back then. I started playing golf at age 12 on caddie days at Bethpage State Park.
I really got the golf bug when I started playing for my high school Levittown — home of the Blue Dragons. I think the turning point for me was when we played a rival high school Westbury in a match. Their star player was a guy named Matt Snell, later an NFL running back for Super Bowl III winners the New York Jets. Matt was a scratch golfer and we knew we could not beat him so our coach Dick Williams juggled our line up and I wound up as the 5 man instead of 3. We beat them 4 and 2.
Our golf coach Dick Williams was my inspiration to pursue golf my entire life. He was a former pro and taught us about the game of golf and, more importantly, the etiquette of the game which is its real backbone. I also came to understand and appreciate the rules of golf. Coach Williams instilled in me a love and respect for the game.
Throughout my business career golf has played a very important part in making friends and meeting business associates. I was a major executive in the Consumer Electronics business working for Panasonic, Packard Bell and Emerson Radio. I played in many customer golf tournaments. I even had a hole-in-one at a tournament at the 8th hole at Grand Cypress in Orlando. Thank goodness they had an open bar at the event or it might have cost me a bundle.
I am Commissioner for Golfers Getaway — a group of 12 players from across the nation that gets together twice a year. In the fall, we head east and in the Spring, we go west. We’re on our 45th trip and planning 46. I have negotiated course deals, hotel deals and with restaurants across the USA. My longtime friend Al Gottfrey is the owner of the Tee It Up radio show, a golf and lifestyle show syndicated nationwide every Sunday morning from 6:00AM to 8:00AM pacific time. I became I consultant to the show on golf trips and buddy trips. After doing this for many years I decided I wanted to bring golfers from all over to the beautiful Temecula area and that is why I started the Temecula Golf Trail.
MW: What was the genesis for the Temecula Golf Trail?
LM: I have been the Commissioner for Golfers Getaway, which is a traveling group of 12 players from all over the USA. The group gets together twice a year; in the Fall, we go East and in the Spring, we come West. We are on our 45th trip and planning 46. We have traveled to 14 states. I have negotiated course deals, hotel deals and booked restaurant reservations across the USA. Temecula Golf Trail is my way of bringing affordable golf and “buddy trips” to all golfers.
MW: How many courses make-up the Temecula Golf Trail and are they all generally available throughout the year?
LM: We have eight courses with the Temecula Golf Trail. We have courses enjoyable for all levels of golfers. Temecula weather is spectacular — Suntan.com ranks Temecula in the “Top 10 Best weather Cities in the USA.” All the courses on the Temecula Golf Trail are playable all year around. They include: Temecula Creek Inn; Journey at Pechanga; The Legends Golf Club; Cross Creek Golf Club; Redhawk Golf Club; Pala Mesa Resort; The Golf Club at Rancho California; and The Golf Club at Fallbrook.
MW: SoCal has plenty of golf options — why should golfers head to the Temecula Valley area for their golf needs?
LM: There is so much to do in Temecula. Check out some of our 35+ wineries, 8 terrific & affordable golf courses, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Ride Horses, book a hot air balloon flight, shop at the Promenade Mall or go antiquing in Old Town Temecula. Temecula is like Palm Springs without the excessive heat and the high cost of playing golf. Temecula is at 1300’ feet in elevation, making for warm days and cooling off at night.
MW: Value is something many golfers are searching for when making decisions on where to play. How does your efforts address the area of “value” in an overall area known for high greens fees costs?
LM: While it is true that there are quite a few prestigious golf courses in Southern California, this is not the case in Temecula. We have 3 resort courses ranging in price from $60 to $125 and even less on weekdays. Our other daily fee courses are also very affordable.
MW: How do you solicit customer feedback?
LM: We are now setting up most social media sites and welcome any input.
MW: Is that feedback used to make needed changes for future situations by your member clubs?
LM: All feedback is taken very seriously — good or not so good. All comments will be shared with the appropriate people at each of our courses.
MW: You can change one thing golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
LM: I believe too much emphasis is placed on the rules the PGA tour and the length of the courses they play. Most golfers and all beginners should be able to enjoy the game, courses and the beauty of golf without having to stress out over a 450 yard par 4 hole types.
MW: Various golf organizations are researching how to grow the game with the Millennial Generation. What steps do you see need to be done to grow the game?
LM: Young players like Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and many others are becoming great role models. Just like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were for my generation. We also need to have easier rules for them to play by and speed up golf.
MW: Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
LM: Every time you make a presentation or a sales pitch — even though it is the same thing that you have said and done before — remember it’s totally new and fresh to whoever you’re presenting to. It is not fair or right to not give it your best effort. This was from my boss at Christian Dior Menswear.
MW: How are golfers going to know of your existence beyond those in the immediate SoCal area? Are you looking to target specific areas of the USA?
LM: Temecula Golf Trail will be marketing to most of the Northern and Eastern states along with Canada. With my connections in the consumer electronics business, I have long time friends and associates throughout the USA. I have also been a consultant to the Tee It Up radio Show which is a national syndicated golf and lifestyle show every Sunday from 6AM to 8AM Pacific time.
For info go to: temeculagolftrail.com